Monday, January 16, 2017

corleone: the shakespearean godfather | costume design | chantal short

PT got a sneak peak of the costume design for CORLEONE: THE SHAKESPEAREAN GODFATHER, at our meet and greet last week with the Classic Chic ladies. Costume designer, Chantal Short was given a tall order; Shakespeare, 1940's, cross gender, and a cast of 12 women, but she bravely accepted the challenge! Read on to find out how Chantal brings a little bit of Elizabethan flair to the classic 1940's design.

I came to Classic Chic, and CORLEONE as an invitation from Corina, who I'd recently worked with on, FLARE PATH for the Slamming Door Artist collective. FLARE PATH was set around the same time as the Godfather, the 1940s, so doing both shows back to back has definitely helped me get a handle on the period. I have a huge passion for vintage shopping and WW2 era fashion has always been one of my favorite periods. There's a certain romance in the clothing that I feel is really lost nowadays: it was really about complimenting the epitome of the feminine and masculine forms. I love the idea of getting dressed up daily, because it mattered how you presented yourself to society. Obviously this polarization was deeply rooted in sexism (you never would have seen a women wearing men's style clothing then!), so it's fun to be able to put a spin on it for the cross gender aspect of Classic Chic's take on the show.

Costuming a gender bending show was something I'd never done before, and like any artist, I think a new challenge always brings excitement and curiosity. Coupling that with creating a look all my own for a really iconic story made it an offer I really couldn't refuse! The Shakespearean element added to the story was really interesting to me too. I love the idea of trying to bring an anachronistic fusion to the costumes: a little bit of Elizabethan flair to the classic 40s design. I was super influenced by Valentino's fall couture collection this year, and Alexander McQueen's fall 2009 men's collection. Check them out! Really cool examples of bringing renaissance style into modern clothing. We're working with the idea of maybe adding some codpieces, some doublets, some ruffs. It's interesting because men's fashion by Elizabethan times would be considered really feminine nowadays. It was very common for men to wear tights, lots of jewelry, even makeup. We're trying to bring all these elements into Corleone for a really cool fusion of gender/time/ and story.

Ultimately though, I'm just really excited to work with a super kickass group of women who want to make good theatre. I can't think of many stories that are out there with big female ensemble casts that pack the same kind of intensity as Corleone. I just saw a friend comment on facebook the other day about how tired she is of female-centric stories just being about broken hearts, or virtue, or motherhood. Not that they're not important and valid topics, but sometimes girls like to throw down too! So I love that Classic Chic is rejecting the constraints of classic women's tropes, and letting girls get their gangster on! We just had our photoshoot the other day, and I was totally intimidated by how formidable our corleone boys looked! I'm really looking forward to sharing this one with the audience!

Recent credits:
FLARE PATH (Costume Designer) and A DOLL'S HOUSE (asst. Costume Designer) for Slamming Door Collective; 12th NIGHT (Costume Building) for TWU; LAND OF TRASH (Set Building) for Green Thumb Theatre; KOOZA (Wardrobe Prep) for Cirque Du Soleil; ANOTHER SHOT (Costume/Set Design) for star star Theatre; and THE GRADUATE (Costume Designer) for Metro Theatre. Up next: Costume designs for ALONE TOGETHER (Green Thumb Theatre) and BELFAST GIRLS (Penninsula Productions). Chantal is a graduate of the Phoenix Theatre at UVic.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

jan.10-21 | the fighting season

If you missed this show during the 2015 Fringe, this is your second chance to catch a host of fantastic Pacific Theatre artists. 

Bleeding Heart Theatre presents

by Sean Harris Oliver

Inspired by his father's deployment in Afghanistan, Sean Harris Oliver's searing new play investigates the Afghan war through the eyes of a Canadian field medic, a doctor, and a recovery room nurse.

Played to sold out audiences at the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival and was awarded The Georgia Straight's Critics Choice Award.

Directed by Evan Frayne (THE AMISH PROJECT)
Featuring Tom Pickett (MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS), Siona Gareau Brennan and Kyle Jespersen.
Stage Management by Lois Dawson (HOLY MO: A CHRISTMAS SHOW)
Set and Props by Jennifer Stewart
Sound Design by Matthew MacDonald-Bain
Lighting Design by Itai Erdal
Costume  Design by Kaitlin Williams (SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN)

Showing Jan. 10-21 at the East Van Cultural Centre.
Click here for tickets and showtimes.

Friday, January 13, 2017

new year, new shows, new volunteer opportunities!

Have you been thinking about volunteering at Pacific Theatre this New Year? Well, you're in luck because we have six exciting shows going up on the PT stage all before summer, and we need your help! Read on to find out about the benefits of being a PT volunteer. 

We are always looking to grow our volunteer family here at PT. There are three different volunteer opportunities that you can sign up for: Program volunteer, Box Office volunteer and Concession Volunteer. You get to choose the specific date and to which show you would like to volunteer for. Our volunteers have the opportunity to meet new people and acquire new skills depending on the show requirements. Our volunteers get a tour of the theatre before the doors open to the public and get the staff discount at our concession. Not only do you get to help out and give back to the theatre, but you also get to see our shows for free! That's right, during your volunteer shift you are able to watch the show from the comfort of our audience.

Shows coming up at PT:

CORLEONE: THE SHAKESPEAREAN GODFATHER  (Classic Chic Productions with the support of Pacific Theatre)
SPRING AWAKENING (Phantom Moon Collective)

**Plus shows produced by Stone's Throw Productions 

Head to our website for more information and to sign up for your first (or 50th) shift today! We can't wait for you to join the team!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

apply for our 2017-2018 apprenticeship!

We are now accepting applications for our apprenticeship program for the 2017-2018 season! If you, or someone you know, are interested in applying to be part of the PT team, read on! Application deadline is March 17th. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pacific Theatre offers a full-time professional apprenticeship program for emerging artists who are looking to build a bridge between academia and the professional marketplace. The Company Apprenticeship is composed of three primary, intersecting categories of activity:


A significant portion of the apprentice’s time will be spent working on assigned administrative tasks, mostly in the capacity of Box Office and Front-of-House staff, as well as potential mentorships with specific administrative roles (community engagement, marketing, development). These hours will ebb and flow as the production cycle progresses, often culminating in weeks of long administrative hours followed by open weeks to work on artistic endeavours.


Apprentices will be periodically required by the Production Manager to participate in crew calls for lighting, construction and strike. Such calls will take place outside of scheduled administrative time.


Depending on the specific needs of the season, apprentices are invited to participate artistically in mainstage productions both in areas they are interested in pursuing, and areas which will round out the apprentice’s experience in professional theatre. This work may include: acting or understudying in a mainstage production, training and mentorship sessions with company artists, providing hands-on assistance to costume, lighting and/or set designers, designing lights or sound, assistant stage managing, shadowing a director, props construction, etc.

Apprentices will also be charged with collectively producing several ‘second-stage’ projects of their choosing throughout the year. Past examples include one-act plays, 24 Hour theatre festivals, actor showcases, etc. Such projects provide excellent opportunities for aspiring directors, producers and playwrights, as well as actors.

How to Apply:

Apprenticeships generally span eleven months from August to June. A modest living stipend is available.

Successful applicants will have read our “About Us” section, as well as looked at our past productions, to comment on what draws them to Pacific Theatre as a company.

Please note that due to Canadian Immigration Laws, we are only able to accept Canadian applicants.

Submissions should be made to Cara Cunningham at, or by mail to:

Cara Cunningham – Operations Coordinator
Pacific Theatre
1440 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6H 1M8


-A headshot
-All relevant resumes (acting, production, general work experience, etc.)
-A letter of intent detailing reason for applying, why you want to work with Pacific Theatre, and what you hope to get out of an apprenticeship

Applications due March 17th, 2017.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

corleone: the shakespearean godfather | classic chic productions

Classic Chic Productions have officially taken over at Pacific Theatre and we couldn't be more excited about it! Our team is beyond thrilled that we get to partner with this amazing company to bring you a show that has been on Artistic Director, Ron Reed's radar for over a decade. Give our box office a call at 604.731.5518 to book your tickets to CORLEONE: THE SHAKESPEAREAN GODFATHER. Read on to learn more about Classic Chic Productions and the talented women who started it all.

Company statement

Classic Chic Productions is founded on the notion that there are great roles in the theatre (both male and female) that appeal to us as actors and human beings. We are creating a forum for women to explore these possibilities. We also strive to provide a supportive environment for women to continue to develop their acting, designing and directing skills. We are based in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Classic Chic Producers

Christina Wells Campbell, Artistic Director

Christina has been on stages all over the Lower Mainland, as well as more exotic locations such as Edinburgh and Nanaimo. Recent acting credits include: The Winter’s Tale and Glengarry Glen Ross with Classic Chic Productions, She Stoops to Conquer with the Arts Club Theatre Company The Music Man at Theatre Under the Stars, Shrek the Musical with Align Entertainment, Fourplay (episodic dinner theatre at Salt Tasting Room in Gastown) with In the House Festival. She performed in and co-created a site-specific theatre piece in the Vancouver Fringe Festival: Rove: The Legend of Rusty Point. Other recent past credits include MacBeth, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, Lorelei, Nine, Iolanthe, and Ruddigore. Directing credits include: The Mikado, The Gondoliers, Sleeping Beauty the Panto, aka Marleen and The Case of the Frustrated Corpse. Christina has also been an arts administrator for many years working at the Arts Club Theatre Company where as a side project she created the popular Actor’s Intensive. Currently she is the Performing Arts Programmer with Surrey Civic Theatres. Christina has 3 kids, a husband, and a dog, lives in mortgaged suburbia and had no idea she would spend her spare time cross-dressing as a man. Life is weird. She could also use a nap and a personal assistant or five.

Corina Akeson, Production Manager

A Graduate of Studio 58, Corina has performed with professional Theatre Companies in BC, across Canada and in the US, such as The Arts Club Theatre Company, Carousel Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Repercussion Theatre, Project X, Mortal Coil and with various local Equity Collectives, such as Mad Duck. Some favourite past roles have been: Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Josie in A Moon For The Misbegotten, Hattie in Laundry & Bourbon, Butterball in Chickens and Gertrude in Hamlet. Corina spent a number of years co-creating and producing new works as a member of Cor Departure Physical Theatre Ensemble (now called The Minotaur’s Kitchen), both independently and in collaboration with the Evergreen Cultural Centre, for whom she has taught Drama for Primary, Elementary & High-School programs. Corina also works in voiceover, film and television, set carpentry, dabbles in sound design, visual arts and has most recently tried her hand at directing, an area in which she hopes to have many more opportunities. Outside of the arts, Corina is a professional residential carpenter and a Mom.

Michelle Martin, Marketing & Communications Director

Michelle is proud to be co-founder, producer and Marketing & Communications Director for Classic Chic Productions. She played Antigonus in Classic Chic’s inaugural production of The Winter’s Tale directed by Lisa Wolpe and enjoyed a career highlight playing Ricky Roma in Classic Chic’s acclaimed production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Selected theatre credits include Collette in Four Dogs and a Bone (Egg Theatre), See Bob Run and To Hear With Eyes (One Yellow Rabbit, Workshop West), Les Liaisons Dangereuses and A Christmas Carol (Theatre Calgary), The Importance of Being Earnest and Fool for Love (Theatre Junction), Cressida (Workshop West), Misalliance and Night Must Fall (Shaw Festival), 1-900-Dee-Lite (Persephone Theatre), All in the Timing (Summer at the Roxy), Hitting Town (Alchemy Theatre Projects), Cymbeline (Shakespeare in the Rough), Twelfth Night (U of T, Graduate Centre for Drama) and Summerfolk (Equity Showcase Theatre).

Film/TV credits include Frequency, Dead of Summer, The Romeo Section, The Whispers, Gracepoint, Supernatural, A Novel Romance, Accidental Obsession, two seasons as a series lead on the CBC evening drama, Riverdale, CTV’s Traders, the independent feature film, Backroads, and the short film Sleepwalk (2012 Audience Choice Award, New York City Horror Film Festival). Michelle is a graduate of York University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. She’d like to thank Ron Reed and everyone at Pacific Theatre for their support on this exciting journey.

Inspirations for Classic Chic

Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company
Manhattan Shakespeare Project
The Queen’s Company
Smooth Faced Gentlemen
Woman’s Will Theatre

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

corleone: the shakespearean godfather | first read

Today was first read of CORLEONE: THE SHAKESPEAREAN GODFATHER! We couldn't be more excited to have Classic Chic Productions in our season, producing this funny and moving story. Here are some shots from the first read this morning.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

soul food movies onscreen now | mass is ended, silence, jackie, manchester, l'argent

It's that time of year when there's lots worth seeing in the cinemas. I think of it as the Year End Film Festival - the YEFF.  I keep track of the critics' Top Ten lists - there's a post about that over on my Soul Food Movies blog - and I try to see as many as I can of those top films that catch my interest.

But before we get to some of those that are on Vancouver screens now, let me alert you to an older film with only one screening, this evening at 8:40 at the VIFF/Vancity Theatre. THE MASS IS ENDED is a 1985 film by Italian director Nanni Moretti, whose later film THE SON'S ROOM was a stunner.

"A young priest, Don Giulio, struggles to maintain his faith. Having been a radical college student in the 1960s, Don Giulio has now rejected his long hair and liberal ideals in favor of the church. He has himself transferred to his home parish, only to discover the church empty and the town indifferent. Meanwhile, Don Giulio’s friends from his radical days begin popping up with their lives in serious disarray. Don Giulio seeks solace with his beloved family, but his family too is in chaos." VIFF

Back to the YEFF. The event movie of the year, soul food-wise, is surely SILENCE, which Martin Scorsese has been planning to make and I've been eagerly anticipating for 25 years. In CalArts days or early PT days I read Shusaku Endo's play "The Golden Country," which is something of a prequel to his novel on which the film is based. The play very much affected me, and were the cast size not so large I would have staged it long ago at Pacific Theatre. There was a mutual admiration between Graham Greene and Shusaku Endo, and much in common not only in the priest characters in Greene novels such as The Power and the Glory but also in their view of the Christian faith - which would have much to do with Robert Farrar Capon's insistence that the church consists of the last, the least, the lost, the little and the dead (Parables of the Kingdom). There's a nice summary of the Greene-Endo connection in the essay "Bad Priests and the Valor of Pity" by Christopher A. Link; although that link will only give you the first few paragraphs of his piece unless you've got academic credentials I lack, it's enough to lay out the essentials.

Anyhow, SILENCE opened at the Fifth Avenue Friday at noon, and I was there. It didn't disappoint.

As if that wasn't enough, my buddy and I fulfilled a New Year movie tradition by making it a double feature, returning for the late matinee screening of JACKIE. Which exceeded all expectations. I thought it would be just another of this tiresome procession of mid-century biopics, Hollywood's dreary product-recognition strategy for boomers, the corrollary of superhero retreads for everybody else. But it's something far more aesthetic, rigorous than the run-of-the-mill nostalgia. I should have known; it's #10 on the Metacritic Top Ten Tally for 2017. Chilean (not French, as previously reported) director and (I think?) production crew; Pablo LarraĆ­n also directed such films as NO, THE CLUB and NERUDA. And surprising elements of Christian reflection, in the person of a Catholic priest who talks with – and challenges – Jackie. Soul Food in unexpected places.

I'm going to call MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Soul Food, as well, but your mileage may vary. A couple friends found it overwhelmingly sad, or bleak, which surprised me - yes, these are broken lives, but I found great hope in it all. The two obvious Christians are the film's only flat characters, skewered for comic effect - yet even that flatness deepens by the end of their scene as some of our judgment and expectations are reversed, and the conversation that follows it broadens the idea of who and what may be "Christian." Religious faith is a thread that runs through Kenneth Lonergan's work, from the remarkable, unremarked presence of a Lutheran pastor in YOU CAN COUNT ON ME - remarkable because church life is so much a part of the lives of so many of us, and so rarely a part of the lives of movie characters - to the Jewish character in MARGARET.  Lonergan has remarked that he is not a believer, but that he almost wishes he was - that there's something good about having that kind of hope and reassurance.

I think MANCHESTER is his most fully realized film. MARGARET was his most ambitious, and with that reach came flaws I'm more than happy to overlook, but which tripped up most critics and many viewers. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME has the scope and feel of a play - Lonergan has written many - and he nails it. But MANCHESTER reaches farther, I think, and to my sensibility, pretty much perfect.

And coming up soon, another older film, by Soul Food auteur Robert Bresson.  Two screenings only, this Monday and Thursday evening. I'll let the good people at Pacific Cinematheque tell you all about it...

L’Argent (1983, France, Robert Bresson)
Pacific Cinematheque
Mon Jan 9 @ 8:15
Thu Jan 12 @ 6:30

NEW RESTORATION | The awe-inspiring farewell film of Robert Bresson, one of cinema’s immortals, freely adopts a Tolstoy novella (“The Forged Coupon”) and transposes it to contemporary France. L’Argent (“Money”) charts the circulation of a counterfeit 500-franc bill and the contagion of evil it spreads as it passes from hand to hand. When an innocent man unwittingly uses it to pay for a meal, the consequences prove disastrous. As in all Bresson’s major works, the real drama here is internal, spiritual, metaphysical; it derives not from plot or character but emanates from a rigorous austerity and intensity, from a meticulous accumulation of detail. In Bresson, objects and gestures miraculously transform into manifestations of the transcendent! L’Argent is one of Bresson’s best and most beautiful films — and one of his most harrowing indictments of modernity’s spiritual bankruptcy. It shared the Best Director prize at Cannes in 1983 with Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia.